Wellington barista takes Puppet Fiction to Edinburgh Fringe Fesitval

Wellington puppeteer Jon Coddington.
RHIANNON MCCONNELL/FAIRFAX NZ

Wellington puppeteer Jon Coddington.

The Pulp Fiction puppets will don kilts and put on Scottish accents when they perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month.  

Lyall Bay barista Jon Coddington is the mastermind behind Puppet Fiction, Quentin Tarantino's cult classic Pulp Fiction in marionette form.

The Edinburgh Festival is the world's biggest arts festival.

"I started the show to get to Edinburgh Fringe - I thought it would be my one ticket there," Coddington said. "I'm just praying somebody from Pulp Fiction shows up."  

He said his show combined two of his favourite loves, Pulp Fiction and puppetry.

The puppet master's fellow cast members, actress Anya Tate-Manning and comedian James Nokise, have already left for Scotland, and Coddington will follow on Sunday.

The fourth member of Present Company, Hannah Clarke, is staying behind.

The show opens on August 6 and plays till the end of the month.

Coddington handcrafted the entire cast of main characters from oven-baked clay, wood and mainly second-hand fabric.

After a humble beginning in 2012 in front of 20 people at the Pit Bar at Bats Theatre for the New Zealand Fringe Festival, the tabletop show has packed houses at such events as the New Zealand International Comedy Festival and Adelaide Fringe.

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More than 130 performances later it has reached its puppet pinnacle.

"Now we are developing our next show. After three years it's about time.

"It's a celebration of Bruce Willis films with all styles of puppetry."

This year was the second time Puppet Fiction was invited to perform in Edinburgh, but last year the cast did not have the funds to go.

"So this year we've been saving our butts off to get there."

The trip is costing about $12,000, some of which has been fundraised through a givealittle page.

Coddington, who would ultimately like to work on Sesame Street, said he had a few tricks up his sleeve for the Scottish audience, including the use of kilts instead of shorts and actress Anya Tate-Manning putting on a Scottish accent.

He said he wanted to make two more puppets before leaving for Edinburgh. 

"I can whack them out."

He said it would be his first trip to Britain, and he planned to enjoy the whisky and other shows at the festival. 

Coddington has made other marionettes on commission, including for Wellington band Fat Freddy's Drop's Clean the House video.

 - The Wellingtonian

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